Review Shooter: Static Shock 1
I miss Virgil. The first page brings back the Virgil I knew as a child: cocky, confident, and witty. He’s in New York City as an intern for S.T.A.R. Labs. We start this issue with a giant battle with Sunspot, whom I guess is a giant plasma monster, in New York City. He ultimately wins the battle by using some physics knowledge I don’t understand and just go along with like I normally do, only to be met with distaste from some rather pissed off New Yorkers.
We soon get to the reason why he’s interning at S.T.A.R. Labs: there’s some fishy goings on and he was, essentially, sent to investigate. A group of baddies is not so fond of this, so they send a guy named Virule to take Static out. After a bit of filler panels, we find Static flying over NYC. However, he’s also being trailed by the aforementioned baddies, one of whom is Virule. Did I mention Virule has a gun? Did I mention that gun looks like it shoots CDs? Did I also mention that *SPOILER ALERT* one of those CDs cuts off Static’s left arm? Stay tuned!
That rather mediocre synopsis aside, I find Static to be enjoyable. It’s very light, there’s not a whole lot ofÂ back story, and it reads fairly quickly. I feel like there are enough questions to keep going, and that there may be some cool places to explore with Static. It’s cool to see Static in action again, and it was great that this issue started with him in action.
It would be nice for the series to start introducing more Milestone characters into the DCnU. They are an entire group of characters that, to my knowledge, didn’t really make it to the mainstream, as far as comics are concerned. They are also a very diverse group that could add some well needed color, and I mean that in both the ways you’re probably thinking, to the DCnU. I want to see what Rozum and McDaniel do with those characters, if they use them at all, and what incarnation they will use, whether from the comics, the animated series, or a new one altogether.
What I like about this comic is that it plays with Virgil’s knowledge of science. That knowledge helps him make decisions in battle that other heroes may not. When fighting Sunspot, he was able to come up with a couple of plans. It shows that he can adapt in battle and use science as a tool in fighting crime.
Am I supposed to say something bad now? Honestly? I didn’t have any problems with this issue. It was a bit wordy (hence the ‘fairly quickly’ reading speed), but that is something I was never a huge fan of in comics. Yet, I do think we have explanation for what we *need* to know at the moment, which, honestly, is not that much. This issue does a good job of setting up a good storyline, especially with the forced amputation on the last page (seriously, how are they going to handle that?!).
I’d also like to take the time to point out that we have a Black, male protagonist with a headlining title whose name is VIRGIL FUCKING OVID Hawkins (of course, the ‘FUCKING’ is an added thing on my part) and who has a working knowledge of physics. Can you say, ‘Thanks for having a Black man in comics that isn’t a stereotype and doesn’t have ‘Black’ as part of his name?’. Static has a lot of potentially *socially* to break down the Black Monolith idea, and I appreciate that. Also, this issue is rather diverse, and I appreciate that, too. One thing I did notice about Milestone, even though I didn’t read it, is that it didn’t reflect the ‘reality’ that most mainstream stuff from Marvel and DC do (re: primarily White, hetero, male status quo). While little Black girls, Asian boys and girls, etc etc need heroes, too, it’s good that little Black boys have a hero that looks like them, but who is also not a walking caricature of Black culture in America. At any rate, Static is a hero whom I think could be loved by all.
Survival Rating: Live — I had some trouble with this, as the issue wasn’t what I expected, but I couldn’t tell you what I expected at all. I think Static’s popularity as an animated series is going to figure pretty heavily here. His spot on Teen Titans didn’t involve near as much spotlight as a solo issue, so this will help put him at the forefront of people’s minds. Like I said earlier, the story and Static himself could go in a lot of directions. I’m definitely willing to keep reading about him each month to see how he develops.
Recommendation: Buy It — It’s definitely a good issue. It’s not one that you just read to find things out (I have some comics in my stacks from this year that definitely fit that title), and I think it caters to both new and old fans. Static #1 has a nice quality to it, one that is attractive and appealing to a general audience. Essentially, it’s worth your time.